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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498

Date: February 12, 2016


NEW CASTLE (Feb. 12, 2016) - With temperatures dropping into the teens or single digits across the state and wind chills below zero throughout the weekend, Code Purple locations continue to remain open in all three counties for individuals who are homeless and in need of a place of refuge.

Organized and staffed by volunteers, Code Purple sites in Delaware typically are located at houses of worship and community shelters. The sites provide safe, warm and short-term housing and hot meals to individuals and families who are homeless. The activation of Code Purple varies, but it typically occurs when winter-weather conditions - low temperatures, low wind chills, strong winds or heavy snow - make it difficult for anyone to be outside for extended periods. Being outside during extreme cold brings the risk of frostbite or hypothermia for anyone who does not take proper precautions. During the coldest periods of the weekend, prolonged exposure could result in frostbite in less than 30 minutes.

Since Code Purple sites use volunteers to manage operations, the activation and implementation vary by county and site. To be connected to Code Purple resources, call Delaware 2-1-1, search for "Code Purple" on the Delaware 2-1-1 mobile app or on its website at and click on the Cord Purple button.

Wilmington:The lead agency for Code Purple in New Castle County is Friendship House, which operates two Code Purple winter sanctuary programs - one in Wilmington and the other in Newark through the Newark Empowerment Center. The Wilmington program is operated in collaboration with the Salvation Army and has been housing as many as 150 people nightly this week. Beside the Friendship/Salvation Army winter sanctuary program, the Sunday Breakfast Mission offers overnight shelter to both men and women.

The Salvation Army has extended Code Purple for tonight through Sunday night. Here is the schedule:





Newark: Friendship House will open its Code Purple sanctuary from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Friday through Sunday nights in church space provided by eight different Newark faith communities on a rotating basis. People who are homeless must register at the Newark Empowerment Center at 69 E. Main St. on Friday. The Newark shelter is already operating at capacity, serving 36 people a night, so any individuals who cannot be accommodated in Newark will be provided transportation to Wilmington.


Code Purple is in effect through the morning of Feb. 21. The Code Purple status can be determined by calling 1-800-733-6816 to listen to a pre-recorded message, which is updated frequently, and will identify Code Purple sites that are open in Kent County. Please note that the transportation for men to Wyoming Church requires that all guests be at Dover Interfaith by 4:30 p.m., with the bus leaving at 5 p.m. Only one trip will be made so please spread the word about the time. The bus will return guests the following morning back to Interfaith. The schedule for Friday through Monday nights:





Champions and strong supporters of Code Purple in Kent County include Rebecca Martin, Diane Kaskeski and Allan Angel. For questions, call 1-800-733-6816 or email . Or visit the new website, Volunteers are needed. Please email .

Western Sussex:

Central Sussex: Milford Community Center, 105 N.E. Front St., Milford. Sanctuary for women and children only. This shelter is available to people in Kent or Sussex. Call 302-725-0770. Georgetown Presbyterian, 203 N. Bedford St., Georgetown. Call Pastor Mike at 302-344-1912 or leave a message at the church at 302-856-6842. Sanctuary is open for extreme weather, but you must call ahead because of limited availability.

Eastern Sussex: Shelters are open and will remain open until spring, regardless of the temperature. Immanuel Shelter, 37439 Oyster House Road, Rehoboth Beach. Open seven days from 4:30 p.m.-7:30 a.m. Serving men and women. Uses both Conley's Chapel and Faith UMC Fellowship for Code Purple. Call to verify location at 1-888-634-9992. Soul Ministry, Bethany Beach. Sanctuary operates daily for men and women with support from Christian Community of Churches. 302-632-4289. Day Center: Rehoboth Community Resource Center (CRC) is open to people who are homeless during the day. 302-227-1340.

Many of the Code Purple sites across the state often need more volunteers, and more donations of money. In Kent and Sussex counties, the sites also need sleeping supplies and food. The list of needed items include: blankets, cots, sleeping bags, towels and wash cloths, hand wipes and sanitizers, feminine products, toothbrushes and toothpaste, disinfectant spray, hats, scarves, gloves, boots, long underwear, coats, hand or feet warmers, bottled water, pre-cooked or frozen meals, instant hot drinks, ready-to-eat food with easy-opening lids, and garbage bags.

"On these coldest days of the winter, we are grateful that Code Purple volunteers across our state are there to provide a warm place to stay, a hearty meal and a welcoming hand to people in need," Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf said. "If you see anyone without a place to go this weekend or at any time during the winter, we urge you to refer them to the nearest Code Purple location or to Delaware 2-1-1 to be connected to services."

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.